On a cold British evening, my wife and I yearn for a touch of glamour in our TV watching. Ideally a good movie that includes sunny locations and great outfits.
Many times I’ve Googled ‘Top Fashion movies‘ and ‘best fashion movies’ but they usual fall into the same two categories – fashion documentaries or the same old list of fashion movies – Sex and the City, Devil Wears Prada, Clueless etc. But I’ve seen those movies too, so I created a new list.
The criteria is quite simple, great movies that include beauty and story with glamorous locations and beautiful fashion. That means these films work for fashion lovers and movie lovers alike!
In this fashionable list, you will find at least three Vogue cover stars, two Chanel Muses, one fashion icon and one fashion designer and Hollywood’s finest actors and actresses!
The list does not include fashion documentaries, which I hope to cover in a future article.
The Top 10 Fashion Films
(listed in no particular order..)
- Crazy Rich Asians
- A Simple Favour
- Personal Shopper
- The Tourist
- Coco & Stravinsky
- A Single Man
- American Hustle
Let’s get into the list..
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
This film is a visual feast from start to end. The story of a rich young Asian man who takes his unsuspecting girlfriend Rachel home from New York to Singapore for a family wedding. What she doesn’t realise is that the family is seriously rich… Crazy Rich.
This is the ultimate Fashionista movie. From the touch down in Singapore, this film is just a roll call of beautiful locations and outfits. Designers include Elie Saab, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren.
Fashionista has more of the lowdown on the fashion showcased in the movie…
While the movie is packed with high-end Western designers — according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ralph Lauren sent 30 dresses while Marchesa lent Rachel’s floral-embellished gown worn to Araminta’s wedding — the director and Vogt also focused on celebrating local Asian fashion. Vogt credits two of her assistants from Kuala Lumpur, who tapped their regional knowledge, design school alumni and fashion connections to find homegrown talent including Malaysia’s Ong and Dubai-based Pinoy couture designer Michael Cinco, who designed the yellow gown Princess Intan (Kris Aquino) wears to the wedding. Hong Kong jewelry designer Michelle Ong lent pieces from her line, Carnet, and Shanghai’s Shiatzy Chen created the regal gold embroidered shawl worn by Nick’s grandmother Su Yi (Asian cinematic treasure Lisa Lu) to the dumpling wrapping gathering.
This film is a hoot! Watch it for the fashions but enjoy it for the crazy story!
A Simple Favor (2018)
A Simple Favour stars Anna Kendrick as a ‘Mommy Vlogger’ who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town.
Emily is the big city exec. working for a fashion brand with a wardrobe to die for. Wearing a selection of vintage Ralph Lauren pantsuits inspired by Helmut Newton, Blake Lively looks effortlessly cool in every scene.
Anna Kendrick’s movie outfits goes from dowdy mommy to a little more stylish as her fortunes change throughout the movie.
After the overall movie aesthetic was agreed, designer Renée Ehrlich Kalfus worked to build up a full repertoire of outfits to make this truly a fashion film..
compiling extensive research and poring over archives from Helmut Newton, old photos of Marlene Dietrich, and vintage Chanel pantsuits. Newton, in particular, became a main inspiration for Emily’s wardrobe and soon enough, Kalfus had an entire mood board of his portraits: black-and-white photographs of a woman wearing a suit holding a cigarette, a table full of women all in menswear, Lauren Bacall leaning impishly against a couch. All contributed to the mood of the film and the aesthetic from which Emily’s clothing was based. (read more)
A Simple Favour received mixed reviews, in part I think because it is a dark thriller played out in beautiful outfits and broad daylight. Some although think it’s a comedy, which it isn’t. Keep watching for the Twists!
Priceless (Hors de Prix) (2006)
Chanel muse Audrey Tatou starts in this hilarious french movie charting the journey of a beautiful young con artist working the French Riviera. Expect sunshine, laughter and a string of beautiful dresses.
Costume Designer Virginie Montel chose the outfits to support the story, opting for a string of beautiful sexy dresses, as Irène works to hook a wealthy older man.
Priceless is also one of my ten best movies set in the South of France. Check out that list if you want some more glamour!
Will Smith and Margot Robbie sizzle in this tale of Nicky, a veteran con artist (Smith) taking a novice named Robbie’s Jess under his wing.
Jess’s wardrobe helps plot her story from wannabe hustler, to succesful con artist. Starting with *just* a Givenchy Skirt and Jimmy Choo ankle boots, her style evolves to include Trina Turk floral-print dress, Gucci shades, Alexander Wang pumps and a plenty of Dolce & Gabbana too.
A pivotal scene by the pool called for a Herve Leger bikini and Prada platforms. A beautiful, red Roland Mouret dress rounds off an incredible ensemble.
Romance, break up and plenty of twists make this a great movie to watch again and again.
Both actors look fantastic but it is Margot Robbie’s wardrobe that makes this an unmissable fashion watch.
I’ve seen this movie at least four times and enjoy both the fashion and story every time!
Personal Shopper (2016)
Another Chanel muse, Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, an American in Paris hired to be a personal shopper to her client an unseen model.
Dressed down in jeans and converse, Maureen flits across Paris on errands for her model boss. These errands include picking up beautiful dresses from Chanel and Louboutin shoes for her boss. As both Jess and her boss are the same size, Jess breaks the rules and tries on a few of these beautiful outfits.
Stewart wears Chanel in the film, too—but it’s not her Chanel. After picking up a silvery sequin-encrusted dress for her boss, she briefly slips into it, as if to temporarily forget her haunted journey and assume a glamorous, unencumbered life. “It’s that game of dreaming of being who you work for,” Doering says. Much of his research focused on those clothes Maureen shopped for, as those scenes were pivotal moments in the film. “Olivier would say, ‘Why Chanel?’ or ‘Why Vionnet?’ because we didn’t want it to feel too obvious.” (read more on Vogue)
But that isn’t the point of the story. Jess is also a medium who receives ever stronger “signs” from her dead brother. And a string of ever more threatening texts from a stalker. I know that sounds miserable, but what you have is a wonderfully deep thriller with a dash of beauty.
The end will have you thinking for days…
Jacqueline Kennedy has remained a fashion icon since her time as one half of the glamorous Kennedys. In a succession of beautiful outfits, this movie focuses on Jackie as she is widowed in front of the world’s press and how she has to cope with her own grief, that of her young children and of a nation.
Sympathetically played by Natalie Portman, the movie is a gentle exposeé of her life in the White House before and after John’s death.
“We know Jackie as an icon; she had this very particular style,” Portman says. “It’s one of the things she’s really remembered for. The hair, the clothes, the grace.” The attention to detail extended to fabric for the drapes that came straight from the same French factories Kennedy shopped at to buttons for the suit sent directly from Chanel. (read more)
The Tourist (2010)
Take Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp at the height of their stardom, set the movie in Venice and Paris and you have ‘The Tourist.’ The Tourist is an enjoyable thriller with plenty of inspiration for the fashion lover. It may not have the depth of ‘A Simple Favor’ or ‘Personal Shopper’ but still retains enough story to warrant multiple viewing.
The opening scene introduces us to Elise (Jolie) as watching investigators comment on her outfit, a sheath dress in camel and ivory colours, matched with gloves and a wrap. The outfit is inspired by a similar piece designed by the famous Irene Lentz.
All of Jolie’s outfits were designed specifically for the Angelina Jolie’s part, with the exception of a vintage 1950s Charles James Gray dress that fitted Angelina perfectly.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)
The story of Chanel and Stravinsky focuses on the alleged love affair between the designer and Russian composer, whilst he stayed with his family at her villa outside Paris.
Set in the early Twenties, the film has a very very strong aesthetic that evokes the spirit and style of the period. Yet even more so it celebrates Coco Chanel’s striking, highly individual and innovative take on design.
Chanel’s country house, Villa Bel Respiro in the Paris suburb of Garches, was reconstructed for the film with a great attention to detail. The villa decor and associated settings make for a visual feast enhanced by Chanel’s outfits making this a perfect movie for the fashionista in you.
Karl [Lagerfeld] has an inspiration cupboard where he keeps little prized vintage tokens – not all of them Chanel – but just special little finds that he uses to help him. He opened that up to us and said ‘Help yourselves’. It was incredible,” [costume designer] Chattoune told us. “Anything we didn’t have the budget for he helped us with – like the gold buttons we used on Coco’s pyjamas and the occasional feather. Of course there was a huge pressure as we had to seek the approval of the house of Chanel with every sketch we drew but we enjoyed the challenge. (read more)
A Single Man (2009)
For the Directorial Debut of Tom Ford you would expect something beautiful and elegant. And you wouldn’t be wrong. What you also get is a wonderfully sensitive portrayal of an English professor (Colin Firth) coping with the loss of his partner.
Lost in LA, shunned by the family of his late partner, George Falconer (Firth) decides it is time to commit suicide. As he gets is affairs in order, George starts to see the friends around him, who can see how this single man has now changed.
Gradually, he starts to find warmth in the attention of friends and others he meets during his potential last days and hours. This wonderful fashion film works on so many levels, from Tom Ford’s attention to detail, through to the maturity with which he directs his actors.
And Colin Firth in a Tom Ford suit is never a bad thing to see!
This really is a beautiful and sensitive film. Giving you more of the storyline may well spoil this wonderful film.
Loosely based on the Abscam sting, this film provides an entertaining and nail biting tail of risk and reward. An ideal Fashion Film for the Seventies, fashionistas will love a succession of sometimes risqué outfits worn by Adams and Lawrence that are totally in keeping with the ‘real’ New York of the time.
A cracking soundtrack and wonderful acting from the entire cast, this is another movie to watch and watch again.
I hope you liked my list of top fashion films.
What fashion films would you recommend? Let me know on Facebook!